Significant change project set to strengthen growth and equality in trades
With $178 billion of work forecast for the next five years*, the strong demand for skilled workers in the construction and engineering trades is unquestionable. Regrettably, so is the low participation rate of women in those trades.
Ako Aotearoa and the Ministry for Women, Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine, have recently partnered to commission an evidence-based change project with the vision of increasing the participation and success of women in construction and engineering related trades where they are traditionally under-represented.
A foundation group of organisations are involved in the research led by the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).
Collaboration is at the core of the project and the group’s greatest strength.
“Our belief is that by working together we can achieve a significant increase in the participation rates of women,” says Warwick Quinn, Chief Executive, BCITO. Members of the group include four ITOs representing 86 industry sectors and 38 percent of all industry training - BCITO, Competenz, Connexis, and the Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO); Auckland Māori Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT); the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT); The Southern Initiative Māori and Pasifika Trades Training; Kelston Girls’ College; and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).
Supporting this group are 18 associated industry and educational organisations, as well as 19 secondary schools.
"Ako Aotearoa director, Dr Stanley Frielick comments, "We are delighted to join with the Ministry for Women in supporting a major project that will contribute to positive change for women participating in the trades.
The strength of this work is evident in the committed and collaborative project team, and the connections they are building with all parties concerned, including industry, to achieve the desired outcomes."
Mr Quinn says, “Through frank discussions with women working in identified trades, we aim to discover what the significant characteristics of their engagement and learning journeys are. Based on what we learn from these discussions, and national and overseas research, we will initiate change projects involving educational and industry programmes, processes, and practices.”
The research will be conducted over the next three years and will focus on three inter-related areas:
- working with women in the trades and those involved in pre-trade training
- engaging with trade employers
- collecting and analysing information to establish benchmarks and measure change.
We will work through two cycles of inter-related activity including:
- defining problems and promotional issues
- developing an action plan and completing the tasks and interventions
- analysing the outcomes.
- building and disseminating tools, resources and/or guides for women, employers, educators and leaders in learning and teaching.
The third focus area, working with data, will involve establishing benchmarks and measuring change
“We are confident the project will contribute positively to women’s increased participation and achievement in construction and engineering related trades, and increased equity in the workplace,” says Mr Quinn.
- Read more about the 'What are the characteristics of an effective learning journey for women entering trades?' project, jointly commissioned by the Ministry for Women and Ako Aotearoa.
*The Fourth National Construction Pipeline Report (2016) Predicts a $178 Billion Boom For New Zealand's Building And Construction Sector Over The Next 5 Years (2017-2021). Refer Section 7.5 Appendix E - Forecast and known data ($ billions) by region – annual totals. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/construction-sector-productivity/national-construction-pipeline-report-2016.pdf.